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Full text of "ModernGermanLiterature18801950"

FROM   BAHR   TO   DEHMEL                           97

been drastic disillusionment; in Menschliches, All^umenschliches even
the illusions he had kept have gone. There are two kinds of poetry,
we are told now: one (for mature men) is quiet and harmonious,
the other (for women and children) is passionate and chaotic. The
ideal poet is he who bodies forth types of the future: healthy, glad
and beautiful men.1 This poet's landscape is bathed in the light
of a sun which lights up cobwebs in the mystic cave, rends the
iridescent dreams of the romanticist, and shows up every meta-
physical system that ever was as a mirage.

From Menschlicbes, Alk^umenschliches^ from Morgenrote (i 881), Die
frohliche Wissenschaft (1882), and the following works Nietzsche's
Weltanschauung has to be pieced together by the reader, who must
disregard contradictions: seen from a scaled peak boulders flatten
themselves out in the vast sweep of the slopes. Science, we are
told, gives insight and calls for nobler natures than poetry and
music - these are leaves falling in autumn, the swan-song of de-
parting things. The highest state of the soul is a glad, roguish
seriousness; and therefore Socrates was wiser than Christ. Men of
old were glad; men of today merely shun pain; our descendants
must be like our forefathers, and for this 'conscience' and the idea
of ceviP must be done away with. The prick of conscience is like
a dog's bite in a stone; it is silly; the will is not free, and all is
necessary. In nature there are no contradictions, only grades of
difference. There is no basic difference between good and evil.
Man must cultivate the animal he is; only so can he attain the
highest development of his whole self. The hatred of our human,
that is of our animal nature, came from the ascetic ideal of suffer-
ing, which is the will to annihilation (Wille %um Nichfs), because
suffering was ascribed to guilt, whereas suffering is but the corol-
lary of joy.

Humanity has gone backwards since Christianity crossed the
world's threshold. The rebellion of slaves against ancient philo-
sophy was completed by Christianity, which enthroned the emo-
tions love, fear, hope, and faith. Christianity by the trick of clove*
became lyric religion, by the trick of 'hell' it drew the timid into
its fold. Its character was oriental and feminine; it identified mis-
fortune and guilt, whereas antiquity was familiar with the idea of
free and guiltless misfortune. Christianity brought pity, that can-

1 'Das Ziel ist der starke imd schone Menscb? Richard Wagner: Die Kiwst und
die Revolution (1849).